While bass and muskie season are under way, its hard to overlook how good the walleye fishing has been as of late. Angers are finding action has been tight along weed lines. Slow trolling less than 2 mph with worm harnesses has been tops. Casted or trolled stickbaits produce catches as well. Muskellunge fishing has been fair along weedlines. Try trolling large stickbaits along weed edges or casting large stickbaits over weed beds and retrieving toward open water. Largemouth bass are biting well around docks and around weed beds.
LAKE ERIE AND TRIBUTARIES
There are still some walleye available at night in the nearshore shallows, however that bite is tapering off. The daytime action has been decent to good at mid-depth areas, including some limit catches. Out of Buffalo, anglers are catching walleye off the windmills in 30-40 feet of water. Productive methods include trolling with worm harness or stickbaits near the bottom, or by slow trolling (1 mph or less) with a bottom bouncing rig and worm harness. From Sturgeon Point to west of Dunkirk, depths of 40-50 feet are good starting points. Depths around 40 feet off Van Buren Bay has been a hot spot. Worm harnesses or stickbaits run within 10 feet of bottom is a good bet. Working the deeper edges of the walleye spawning structures is also worth a try.
Smallmouth bass are still biting well in the Lake Erie harbors and the catches are improving around the nearshore reefs and shoals. Good spots to try include Myers Reef, Seneca Shoal, Evans Bar and Van Buren Reef. Many smaller reefs, rock piles and humps will hold bass as well. Tube jigs, jigs with twister tails, deep diving stickbaits, live minnows and crayfish are good bass baits. A drop-shot rig with tubes, plastics or live bait works well when fishing deeper water.
Niagara River action has been mostly for bass and walleye. Below Niagara Falls to Lake Ontario, Captain Joe Marra of Lewiston hit some big smallmouth as he used shiners off three way rigs to take bass over 5 pounds. While Marra was fishing from his boat, you can also catch bass from shore while casting from the NYPA fishing platform or along Artpark. Jigs, spinners and spoons will also give you a good chance at catching a fish. Live bait is an option, too. Upper river fishing has been decent for bass and pike. The regular bass season is now underway, meaning you can now use live bait to take bass.
Lake Ontario salmon and trout action is starting to pick back up a little bit as waters become more stable off Wilson and Olcott. Captain Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters found decent fishing off Wilson on Tuesday by putting spoons and flasher-fly combos 50 to 80 feet down over 250 to 350 feet of water using divers, riggers and lead core. There was a good temperature break that you could see on the surface and he found 48-degree water down 70 feet. On board yesterday was writer Ron Hustvedt Jr. of Minnesota who brought along his kids Vivian and Ronny. He also had his father-in-law Rich DeLisle of Wisconsin and his grandson Drake. They had just completed a whirlwind bucket list tour of fishing all five Great Lakes, catching fish in all five. They caught king salmon, Coho salmon, lake trout and steelhead in Lake Ontario. A similar program was being run out of Olcott. The fishing should only get better from here. Get ready to compete in one of the big Lake Ontario derbies when the Summer Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby gets underway June 30, running until July 29. The grand prize for the biggest salmon is $10,000. You can also win $1,000 for the division winners for salmon, brown trout, lake trout and rainbow/steelhead. The biggest salmon each week can also win $1,000 and the trout categories can win $250 each week for additional incentive. A total of nearly $30,000 in cash will be given away.